Archive for the ‘Leia’ Categoryby Northernmost on January 12, 2014 in ACTIVITIES & WORK, Leia, Skijoring & Sledding, Thunder, Tuisku with No Comments
We woke up to a Winter Wonderland this morning! Heaps of new snow on the ground and in the trees. We quickly got our clothes on and I took Leia, Thunder and Tuisku for a run with the sled while Fredrik went out to pack the trail with the snowmobile. Going out after the first big snowfall is always magical.
Woohoo – winter at last!
The “snow cannon” hits us each year when large amounts of cold air comes in over open sea in the Bay of Bothnia and meets the relatively warm sea air. Just ten minutes north of us the storm dumped more than 30 inches over the weekend.
Leia dug a hole while waiting for me to get the lines in order.
The icy wind was still blowing today but the trees in the forest protected us from most of the weather.
Tuisku was eager to go – as always.
On our way home.
The only thing to put a damper on the start of the sledding season is the thickle in my throat that could be the onset of a cold 🙁 Hopefully some warm tea and rest will make it go away fast!
There’s a blizzard blowing outside and it looks like we’re finally receiving the snow we have been waiting for since November. About time!! I went for an evening walk with Thunder and Leia and the icy wind on my face felt like needles – brrr! I’m glad we changed straw in the dog houses yesterday as the storm is expected to continue tomorrow. Now all the dogs are warm and cosy and I can crawl under the duvet and watch a movie without feeling the least bit guilty. Have a good weekend everyone!
Thunder was quick to check out the fresh straw in his dog house.
OK, I’m off to sleep now – good night!
In my last post I promised to take some new pics of Leia but decided that a video would be even better! In the video below you can watch her having fun on the agility course last weekend. We decided to end the agility year 2013 with a private training session at the superb facilities offered by Hundvis in Piteå. Three hours of fun together with Leia and Hilary (including a brief “try-on” session with Wilder) – what better way to spend a Saturday night?!
Group Classes vs Private Training
This year we have mainly been training agility in the company of other dogs at the club and while group classes are both fun and necessary, private training offers a quieter environment which makes it easier for both dog and handler to focus on the task. We will continue with group classes during next year but will make sure to book in some private training sessions too.
Agility Goals for 2014
While we train agility with all our dogs during the summer, during the rest of the year we spend a litte extra time on Leia, Hilary and Wilder as they show most interest in this sport.
During Wilder’s first year we have introduced him to the different obstacles but have only involved him in training a handful of times so far. Until he is two years old we will focus on handling, communication, body awareness, distance work, and on the obstacles that are not so physically straining. Wilder’s rally training has given him a solid “stay” which will be an advantage in agility. We look forward to his beginner’s class which starts in January!
Hilary and Fredrik will continue with their weekly training during 2014, indoors until the end of May and outdoors during summer and fall. Fredrik hopes to take some handling classes to improve teamwork and communication and will also focus on improving Hilary’s basic obedience by attending plenty of group classes (she still likes to run off to say hello to other dogs!). The main challenges during 2014 will be to conquer the weave poles and the teeter-totter. Hilary is fairly confident with the other obstacles so during next year the focus will be on the hardest parts.
Leia, who turns 9-years-old in February, loves the speed and brainwork required in agility and we will continue her training as a way to keep her mentally and physically stimulated also as she gets older. During 2014 we will introduce some more obstacles and focus on mastering the weave poles once and for all – she’s a very clever girl so we know she can do it!
As you can see in the video, Wilder jumps even when there is no obstacle to jump LOL!
Hilary during the summer of 2013 – Agility is fun!!!
If you have a long coated Malamute that easily develops mats and tangles, or perhaps a normal coated dog that isn’t too keen on being brushed (the tail area for example), try Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine to make the grooming session easier for both of you. We use this excellent product on Leia to prepare her coat for a bath. We start by working through her coat with a comb and our fingers and when we find tangles or mats we rub Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine directly into the affected area. It takes just a small amount to break up mats and brush out tangles and the grooming session becomes a lot more pleasant for the dog. We always do this before bathing, as when the coat is wet the mats and tangles will be even harder to get out.
Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine is a popular horse grooming product but works equally well on dogs and on human hair. It contains no water or alcohol and doesn’t dry the hair. There are some other good products in the Cowboy Magic product line, such as the Rosewater Conditioner and the Greenspot Remover. You can read about them here. We buy ours from Hippotique in Sweden.
I love products that make grooming easier and the Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine smells really nice too. Now when all that old coat is gone, Leia is finally ready for a bath!
Leia as a baby puppy in Finland. Photo courtesy of Virve & Teemu Kaivola. She will be 9 years old in February. I’ll get some fresh pictures of her after her bath 🙂
That pretty much sums up October here on the northern coast. While waiting for snow and winter to arrive we keep ourselves and the dogs busy by attending training sessions at the dog club and going for runs with the wagon or bicycle.
When working the dogs in the evenings we use a dead-end forest road that has a locked barrier at the start, that way we can be certain not to encounter any traffic. Occasionally an elk or two cross the road but they always see and hear us long before we see them.
It’s been a rainy October and the roads are wet and muddy. Needless to say, we have some very dirty dogs at home 😉
A couple of times each week we go to the club to train together with other dog owners. In addition to the regular training sessions we have joined a group that specialises in rally and trains with the goal of becoming competitive. If things go well maybe we’ll be able to enter a dog or two to some competitions next year.
Wilder is a fast learner and his food motivation makes him “easy” to train. At the same time he’s an easily distracted teenager who cannot focus on one thing for too long. Thus, we try to keep training sessions short and make sure they always end while we’re still having fun. Patience and consistency is my mantra...
Hilary made a new friend at the club – a 4-month old Golden Retriever girl whose owner had brought her along for socialisation.
Hilary loves to play with puppies so I think this girl had a very positive experience 🙂
In the weekends we go for long walks to soak up as much daylight as possible. Titan and Wilder love to run back and forth on the beach and in and out of the cold water.
The sun sets early in the afternoon and it usually gets dark before we are back home.
The boys looked a tiny bit tired after their romp on the beach.
While Wilder is in adolescence we return to training basic things, like encouraging good indoor manners for example. Right now he is going through the second chewing phase so when he visits indoors we practise the “leave the shoes alone and chew on this toy instead” routine. I think it will take some time before we can trust him with our shoes in the hallway but it has worked with all our other Mals so I’m confident it will work with Wilder too. Eventually 😉
Leia, Thunder and I kicked off the weekend by going for a morning run. At first it felt a bit cold at -3 C (27 F) but once you start running you quickly warm up and the colder the weather the better it is for the dogs. There was some ice on the pavement so we headed for the woods instead, where we didn’t have to worry about slipping.
The Big Bears, Leia (8 years) and Thunder (9 years), are ideal running partners as they keep an even pace and are not distracted by scents along the trail. Not all our dogs are that easy to jog with, some pull so hard in harness that it is better to take them out with the bike or wagon.
After having had back surgery last year I have decided to get fit again. Part of my health regime is cutting out sugar from my diet and spending as little time as possible in front of the computer. As you may have noticed, I am taking a break from Facebook during fall and winter.
So I may not be ready for a marathon just yet, but running is a great way to start the day.
Have a great weekend everybody! 🙂
Leia had some fun with the agility obstacles today. First she tried out the hula-hoop…
OK, so what do you want me to do here?
Jump through it? Okay here I come!
This was fun, can I try again?
We need to get higher jumps, this one is much too easy for the flying fluff!
The weave poles are Leia’s favourite obstacle.
She can do them super fast!
Tip of the day – buy a hula-hoop at the supermarket and have some fun with your dog!
Here are some tips on the tricks you can do with a hula-hoop, your Malamute will love it!
The weeks are flying by right now and we’re busy from sunrise to sunset. I haven’t been able to keep up with my email lately due to a busy schedule at work, but I promise to get back to each and everyone as soon as my summer holiday starts. Below are some pics from this weekend’s agility fun with the gang. All dogs took part except for Thunder, who spent the day being pampered at Grandma’s. Our best jumpers are definitely Leia and Hilary who have great technique and fly effortlessly through the obstacles. But everyone did their best and had FUN! And that’s all that matters 🙂
Talented artist and Malamute breeder Lynda Ste. Jhourré, of Windchaser Kennels, made this beautiful portrait of Leia from a photo taken this spring. She named the painting “The Mountain Lover”. We think it catches Leia’s happy spirit beautifully!
Lynda has previously made this beautiful painting inspired by a photo of Tuisku.
Since we love visiting the mountains with our Malamutes, these paintings are extra special to us. Thank you Lynda ♥
After an unusually mild February, March has been a more normal month with morning temperatures around nippy -25C (-13F). Since a couple of our girls are in season we try to get the boys out as much as possible, so that they can relax and think about something else for a change. Having bitches in season is stressful for everyone, but most so for the males. We give Johnson’s Bitch & Deodorant Tablets to our girls when they are in season and that seems to minimise odours and reduce the interest from the boys at least a bit. In Sweden you can buy these tablets from Häromi.
Notice the length of Tuisku’s tug line – we decided to extend it to see how it would affect the rhythm and speed of the team. Tuisku seemed to enjoy the “freedom” up front and put in an extra gear this morning. I think we’ll extend all tug lines from now on, as it seems to increase their pulling power.
On this strech we usually see two elks by the trail, but not this morning.
Tuisku was in a hurry – bet he worried about the girls at home 😉
♥ Best buds – Tuisku & Fredrik ♥
This winter, snow has become our worst enemy. We are trying to maintain our 42 km (26 mile) trail but each time the trail is starting to look decent, we receive a new big dump of snow and have to start all over again. Of course, Malamutes don’t need a groomed trail to go sledding, but anyone who has experienced the difference between sledding with a small team on a hard packed and frozen trail vs. on a soft trail, with an unpacked powder base, appreciates the difference. Yesterday, I went on one of the toughest runs of the season with Tuisku, Thunder and Leia. Saturday’s storm had brought 30 cm (11 in) of fresh snow and the trail had only been packed once with the snowmobile on Sunday morning so it was still really soft. When I tried to help the dogs by kicking I sank to my knees in powder so I quickly gave up trying. But the dogs did well and we enjoyed a well deserved snack break to recharge our energy at mid trail.
Maybe it’s time we put a lead dog title on Tuisku? I think he has earned it, many times over 😉